I. General Information
1. Course Title:
Cultures of Latin America
2. Course Prefix & Number:
3. Course Credits and Contact Hours:
Lecture Hours: 3
Lab Hours: 0
4. Course Description:
This course examines the politics, economics, religions, cultures and social structures of Latin America, including Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Emphasis is on the rich cultural diversity of the area. Topics include major indigenous civilizations, religions, gender relationships, popular culture, as well as contemporary relations with global powers. Specific countries are included as per above topics , trends and current events.
5. Placement Tests Required:
|Accuplacer (specify test):
||Reading College Level CLC or Reading College Level
6. Prerequisite Courses:
SPAN 2425 - Cultures of Latin America
There are no prerequisites for this course.
9. Co-requisite Courses:
SPAN 2425 - Cultures of Latin America
There are no corequisites for this course.
II. Transfer and Articulation
1. Course Equivalency - similar course from other regional institutions:
Bemidji State University, SPAN 4426 Latin American Culture and Civilization, 3 credits
Bemidji State University, HIST 3459 Latin America, 3 credits
Metro State University, HIST 382 Latin American History I: To 1910, 4 credits
Metro State University, ANTH 321 Cultural Anthropology, 4 credits
III. Course Purpose
1. Program-Applicable Courses – This course is required for the following program(s):
Latin American Studies, Certificate
2. MN Transfer Curriculum (General Education) Courses - This course fulfills the following goal area(s) of the MN Transfer Curriculum:
- Goal 5 – History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Goal 8 – Global Perspective
IV. Learning Outcomes
1. College-Wide Outcomes
||Students will be able to:
|Demonstrate written communication skills
||Write on assigned topic, citing a minimum of three sources, basing conclusions on researched materials, using the 'cultural comparison' lens/viewpoints.
|Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills
||Identify and explain differences between chosen Latin American cultures in regard to gender; class; and historical factors, that have resulted in present day inter-personal communications inclusive of gestures, verbal and physical responses.
|Discuss/compare characteristics of diverse cultures and environments
||Identify three main factors that have greatly affected development of Latin American cultures and discuss their reasoning; contrast an historical custom with a contemporary practice, showing trends and the roots of current events/traditions.
2. Course Specific Outcomes - Students will be able to achieve the following measurable goals upon completion of
- Identify three indigenous Maya, Inca, Amazonian… current celebrations/ rituals to their pre-Columbian roots. MnTC Goal 5
- List trends regarding oligarchy, land use and the workers, citing several countries and time periods. MnTC Goal 8
- Write/discuss a minimum of three instances of U.S. Intervention and give the historical justifications, pro and con, for that interaction. MnTC Goal 8
- Synthesize data regarding a chosen topic of current events; i.e., rain forest pharmaceuticals; coca farmers/ drug cartels; Female presidents in a macho world, presenting the cultural situations and the current social climate in which they are found. MnTC Goal 5
- Identify issues that are woven between all of the Americas and communicate this inter-related state via essay or oral report. MnTC Goal 8
- Identify the trends of Latin American governments and the outcomes for the various socio-economic groups. MnTC Goal 5
- Students will be able to contrast gender roles, including marianismo and machismo. MnTC Goal 5
- Student will be able to compare and contrast three pre-Columbian religious practices with the Roman Catholic church and describe written or oral the syncretic results of their combination. MnTC Goal 8
- Students will be able to take current news events and identify one historical point that relates to or possibly explains the present situation. MnTC Goal 8
V. Topical Outline
Listed below are major areas of content typically covered in this course.
1. Lecture Sessions
- Indigenous Latin America:
SPAIN: Men of their time; A review of Moorish Spain 711 – 1492:
- EARLY Maya: Emphasis in the pre-Columbian Maya of Palenque, Chichén-Itza and Uxmal as developed and advanced civilizations, including comparisons with Europe in those time frames.
- Study of architecture: The 'arch'; City-states; monumental constructions
- Mythology: Quetzalcoatl/Kuculcan, The Popul Vuh, Creation myths
- Compare myths with present day rituals and belief systems
- Explore their abilities in math, the calendar, the nahual
- Cosmology: living in harmony with the Earth
- Rituals and beliefs surrounding the family and community
- Contemporary Maya: Time period 1980 – present.
- Yucatan, Mexico
- Tourism at ceremonial sites. Pros and cons.
- NAFTA and effects on the Maya farmer (1994 - )
- Circumstances leading to the Violence of the 1980's
- Politics and the United Fruit Company
- Effects on the Highland Maya: Social organization, religion, gender roles, family unit, social organizing, political activism.
- Pre- INCA: Moche and Nazca peoples.
- Identifying development through agriculture, ceramics, housing.
- The myth and mystery behind the Nazca lines.
- INCA Civilization (pre-Pizarro):
- Expansion of the Inca Empire. Inca rock building, communication, roads. laws.
- Machu Picchu; monumental building sites.
- Religion; INTI; Sun God; Gold; Pachamama; Creation myths
- Amazonian tribes: Web search for contemporary tribes. How they reflect their ancestors. The effect on ‘eco-tourism’/ current land issues/ oil companies!
Race and ethnicity: Hegemony, the new races and classes; rights; buying your ‘white’
- Isabella y Fernando; the ‘pure race’, the Catholic religion; The inquisition;
- Cultures ‘collide’: The dilemma of ‘Indian: man or beast’ or loyal subject of Spain?; What of the Jews and the Moors? The mentality taken to the Americas.
- Pizarro and Atahualpa as a ‘case study’
Gender / class: Changes as cultures collide
- Slavery: The Africans; Quiombos; Brazil and Portugal
- Mestizos and Ladinos
Religion: symbolism, syncretism,
- Health: The culture of Poverty/ curanderas; Rainforest cures
- Traditions: Clothing, role models, leadership
Decades of dictators: Emphasis on historical development during colonialism
- LIBERATION Theology
- Comparative countries experiencing dictators
- Evolution into ‘democracies’
Pop Culture: Music, dance, movies. Effect of Internet, Facebook. Immigration/emigration.
- U.S. Interventions: By country
- Power Triangle: Govt./Church/Oligarchy